Haitian-Italian Designer Stella Jean Wants To Bring Jobs To Workers In Haiti and Mali
More reasons to love Stella Jean. She’s one of my favorite designers and I love her passion for Haiti and helping Haitian designers. Stella spends a lot of her time getting inspiration and working with Haiti artisans. It would be great to see her open up a business where she can employ the Haitian artisans and give them an opportunity to showcase their work.
Jean explains how she uses her collections to bring work to people in places like Burkina Faso, Mali (where she creates her prints), and Haiti. People only know about Haiti from the 2010 earthquake, she says. “Now I have the chance to show them the real Haiti; the colour, the heart, and the joyfulness. Haitians don’t need pity, they need jobs.” – SCMP
According to SCMP,
Among the luxe denim and 1970s boho hippie looks on the catwalks of Milan last month was the designer who has been catching everyone’s eye for the past three seasons.With a knack for vivacious prints mixed with crisp picnic-check shirts and a nostalgic 1950s-style silhouette, Stella Jean has the fashion crowd flocking to her shows, and snapping up her designs. Jean’s balloon skirts, with their idiosyncratic wax prints developed by artisans in Burkina Faso and Mali – countries barely mentioned in fashion circles – were spotted at London and Milan, worn with mannish shirts and chic heels.They have been snapped up by Lane Crawford, the Shine boutique in Hong Kong and
“They offer something different. The pieces sell out the minute the collection hits the site,” says Natalie Kingham, buying director at Matchesfashion.com The Rome-based designer, who is of Italian and Haitian heritage, is introducing freshness and excitement to the Milan catwalks.Giorgio Armani offered her his Teatro Armani venue last year as a venue, when she won Vogue Italia‘s Who’s on Next award.
“The Armani people called me twice. I thought it was a joke, because Armani is the opposite of my aesthetic,” she says. Still, Jean accepted the invitation, and she was overwhelmed by the response.
“What was important to me was that people started to ask about the collection: where it’s from and how I made it,” she says.Days after the Milan show, Jean flew to New York to present part of the collection at a United Nations lunch hosted by the UN director general Ban Ki-Moon’s wife, Yoo Soon-taek.Earlier this year, she and Franca Sozzani, editor-in- chief of Vogue Italia, were invited to speak at the UN about her work.
“My childhood dream was to become a diplomat,” she remembers. “And there I was, standing on the podium in the great hall, alongside the Commissioner for Refugees talking to the delegates.”
Jean explaines how she uses her collections to bring work to people in places like Burkina Faso, Mali (where she creates her prints), and Haiti. People only know about Haiti from the 2010 earthquake, she says.
“Now I have the chance to show them the real Haiti; the colour, the heart, and the joyfulness. Haitians don’t need pity, they need jobs.”
Jean is surrounded by her vibrant collection in her showroom in the Navigli, in Milan’s artistic quarter, just after her spring-summer 2015 show. – Continue Reading
Stella Jean’s partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative continues to grow as she returns to her roots in Haiti to work with Haitian artisans. Stella Jean’s Spring Summer 2015 collection, was inspired by her recent trip to Haiti with the Ethical Fashion Initiative Team. Stella Jean met and worked with metalsmiths, papier-mâché and horn artisans in Haiti to produce jewelry for the Stella Jean Spring Summer 2015 collection.